Fine of 1.6 million dollars to the Trump Organization for crimes of tax fraud | International

The Trump Organization has been sentenced this Friday by a New York court to pay a fine of 1.6 million dollars (1.5 million euros) after being found guilty of 17 crimes of tax fraud, conspiracy and falsification of accounts. It was the maximum fine to which he was exposed for a plot with which he defrauded taxes for years. The amount of the fine is minimal for the business volume of the business conglomerate of the former president of the United States, but it represents another blow to his reputation as a candidate for the 2024 elections.

With the collaboration of Allen Weisselberg, former financial director of the group, and after more than three years of investigation, the company was found guilty by a jury on December 6 for creating a system to pay part of the compensation of its executives with money black or with undeclared benefits for a period of about 15 years. Weisselberg himself received from the company the use of a free home in Manhattan (New York), high-end car rental, furniture and even payment for the private school of his grandchildren without declaring it to the Treasury.

The financial director was already sentenced this week to five months in prison and five years of probation. Weisselberg, 75, a confidant of Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to 15 charges in August and received a reduced sentence after agreeing to collaborate with the investigation and testify against the former president’s business group, a conglomerate that operates hotels, fields golf courses and other real estate properties around the world.

The fines have been imposed on two affiliates of the Trump Organization: Trump Corp, which was fined $810,000, and Trump Payroll Corp, which was fined $800,000. They must pay those amounts in two weeks. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass has said that the fines constitute “a fraction of the income” of the Trump Organization and that the scheme was “far-reaching and brazen,” according to statements collected by the Associated Press. “All these corrupt practices were part of the compensation package for the executives of the Trump Organization, and it was certainly cheaper than paying higher salaries to those executives,” he added.

Trump has never been charged in this case, although prosecutors are continuing investigations against him. The Trump Organization is the subject of another civil case in which New York Attorney General Letitia James accuses the former president and his business group of misleading about the value of his assets. James is asking that Trump and his three eldest children be barred from running any New York-based company and intends to fine them at least $250 million in a trial tentatively scheduled for October. The former president has denounced without evidence that both investigations, initiated when he was president, are the consequence of a political persecution against him.

Trump Organization lawyers Michael van der Veen and William Brennan arrive at the New York Supreme Court, this Friday.
Trump Organization lawyers Michael van der Veen and William Brennan arrive at the New York Supreme Court, this Friday.MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO (Getty Images via AFP)

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In a statement issued after the sentence, the Trump Organization has assured that it did nothing wrong and that it will appeal it. “New York has become the crime and murder capital of the world; However, these politically motivated prosecutors will stop at nothing to nab President Trump and continue the endless witch hunt that began the day he announced his presidency,” he said in a statement.

Trump also attributes the search of his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach (Florida) to the partisan use of the federal government (particularly by the Department of Justice and the FBI) ​​to seize thousands of documents, a hundred of them confidential, that he took from the White House and was illegally withholding. Although they are two cases with numerous differences, the fact that it has been discovered that the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, also had confidential documents from his time as vice president in a private office and at his home has meant a ball of oxygen for he.

At the same time, the fact that the Justice Department has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Biden, just like one for Trump before, waters down the allegations of discriminatory treatment. The former president demands that the FBI search Biden’s houses, as he did with his mansion, but does not mention that the FBI’s action in Mar-a-Lago occurred after Trump and his lawyers ignored a court order to deliver the papers. Instead, Biden’s lawyers notified the National Archives to take possession of the classified documents as soon as they discovered their existence.

Trump has announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, despite the backlog of pending court cases. In addition to tax cases and secret papers, the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating his activity to subvert his electoral defeat in 2020 and prevent the peaceful transfer of power to Biden.

The House committee that investigated the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 has recommended that Trump be indicted for the crimes of incitement to insurrection, conspiracy to give false testimony and to defraud the United States and of obstruction of an official procedure of Congress, the vote to certify the triumph of President Biden.

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